Mega Millions Lottery is a multi-jurisdictional $1 lottery game in the United States.
Since June 2005, there have been 12 members of Mega Millions, while 32 others
(30 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands) offer Powerball, Mega Millions' main competitor.
Since May 2002, Mega Millions Lottery advertised jackpots have started at US $12 million paid over 26 years, increasing when there is no jackpot winner. Reflecting common practice among lotteries, the jackpot is advertised as a nominal value of annual installments. A lump sum cash value option pays the approximate net present value of the installments. Mega Millions is drawn Tuesdays and Fridays, including any days (such as Christmas) in which a game member does not hold in-state drawings.
As of 2007, a player wins a prize according to the following chart below. Currently, Mega Millions Lottery has better jackpot odds than Powerball (1:195 million). The Mega Ball number cannot cross over to be used for matching a white ball number, or vice versa. In Texas only, players can wager a second dollar to multiply any lower-tier prize; this option is called "Megaplier".
Like most games that use power or bonus balls, two machines are used. The balls are moved around inside a rotating drum. The winning balls drop through a hole in the drum, one at a time. The balls in the first machine are white; the Mega Balls are gold.
USA MegaMillions "Easy Pick"
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|Matches||Payout||Approximate probability of winning|
(pool of 56)
(pool of 46)
|5||1||Jackpot||1 in 175,711,536|
|5||0||$250,000||1 in 3,904,701|
|4||1||$10,000||1 in 689,065|
|4||0||$150||1 in 15,313|
|3||1||$150||1 in 13,781|
|3||0||$7||1 in 306|
|2||1||$10||1 in 844|
|1||1||$3||1 in 141|
|0||1||$2||1 in 75|
|Overall probability of winning any prize is 1 in 40|
Mega Millions Lottery players within Texas also have the option to activate a multiplier, should they win a non-jackpot prize; for $2, a selection of five white numbers and a Mega Ball can win a double, triple, or quadruple prize (up to $1 million cash) with the Megaplier. This is in contrast to the game-wide option in Powerball's PowerPlay. Unlike the actual Mega Millions game, the Megaplier is drawn using a random number generator (RNG).
Drawings are usually held at WSB-TV in Atlanta at 11:00 PM Eastern time on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Formerly the host was WSB's chief weather forecaster Glenn Burns. Now, the new full-time host of the
Georgia Lottery drawings hosts most drawings, John Crow, with Courtney Cason subbing on occasion.
For larger jackpots in excess of $200 million, the drawing is sometimes moved to Times Square in New York City, with New York Lottery announcer Yolanda Vega hosting the draw. On June 24, 2005, to commemorate California joining Mega Millions Lottery, the drawing was held in Hollywood, with Carrie Underwood assisting Glenn Burns for the draw. As of 2008, the minimum age to purchase a Mega Millions ticket is 18.